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Help on my Colts

727 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Sojourner
Just joined the Board. Hope someone can help me identify 3 Colts I have.

The first is a Police Positive Special Serial #883XXX and it has E 062 on the Butt, and has some Spanish Police writing on the grip strap. Iti is in NRA Excellent shape.

Second is a Colt "Army Special" 38 #493XXX. It is in NRA very good to excellent shape--leaning toward excellent.

Third is a Detective Special #984XXX. It is in excellent shape.

Anyone know when they were made. Value?

Any thoughts of shooting +p ammo (all are 38 spl.)in these--very sparingly.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Police Positive Special Serial #883XXX: Made in late 1965.
Probably a South American police gun. Colt sold a fairly large number there, especially in Columbia.
These have been coming back to the US for the last 20 years or so.

"Army Special" 38 #493XXX: made in 1923.

Detective Special #984XXX: Sure there's no letter before or after the numbers?

In 1966 the numeric-only numbers ended and Colt began adding a letter to the serial, either before or after the numbers.

The available Colt serial numbers and production dates end with 1985. Apparently, sometime in the later 90's Colt once again started using numeric-only serials without a letter included and if this one is in a blue plastic box, it's likely one of those.

+P ammo: In the Army Special, Absolutely NO.
Not even a few.

In the Police Positive Special. Not if it was my gun. Pre-1972 guns were NOT factory rated for +P.

The Detective Special. If it is a post-1972 gun (shrouded barrel) it was rated for up to 3000 rounds of +P, BUT, it then was to be sent in to the factory for frame replacement.
So, it is Ok for a limited amount of +P.
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To defariswheel:

Thanks for the infromation.

The Detective Special has no letter before or after the serial number, but it does have another number. I believe a 7 appears below the number on the frame and a 3 appears above the number on the crane itself. It does not have a shrouded ejector rod.

I won't fire any +p in any of the 3, unless someone tells me it is OK to keep the Detective Special loaded with +ps for emergency use only. I still won't practice with +ps in it for any reason.

I really like the Police Positive Special--any Idea of where to geet wood grips to replace the "Coltwood" plastic ones that have shrunk somewhat?

Thanks again for the info.
With that serial number it could be a 1968 gun, but I can't imagine Colt missing the D prefix, but it is possible.
Does it have wrap under stocks? Colt started that in 1966 and that may help pinpoint the date. Dick
As I said above, Colt started using letters in the serial number in 1966, but if for some reason they didn't actually stamp yours, it would date to 1968.

Many police officers did shoot standard .38 ammo for practice, then loaded +P ammo for carry, often against department regulations.

I wouldn't think you would have any problem with doing just that, and a limited amount of +P probably wouldn't cause any harm.

For checkered wooden grips, check with Gun Parts Corporation at:

First, you'll need to determine what your gun's butt type is.
It will either have a short, square butt frame under the stocks, or a longer full profile steel frame with rounded lower "corners".

The short grips overlapped on the very bottom of the grip, leaving the steel grip frame exposed on the front and back strap.

The earlier guns had a full profile rounded steel grip frame, in which the metal of the frame is visible all the way around the grip.

Once you've determined the grip type, the appropriate stocks would be checkered walnut, with silver Colt logo medallions.

In addition to Gun Parts Corp, these walnut grips often are for auction on Ebay and the two major gun auction sites. The only "watch out" it to be sure you're buying the appropriate stocks for your grip style.
Many sellers don't have any idea of exactly what their selling.
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Thanks for the information!!!!

The Detective Special came with very worn "wrap under" grips, so it must be a short grip. I unexpedly had a set of new "no brand" rubber grips I got is some long forgotten trade tht fit it, but I really want a set of new grips. I believe someone traded grips another revolver, because I believe that this has the origional blue and it is in pretty good shape, but the wooden grips are in horrible shape. It is nice and tight, so I may have it nickled---my favorite finish. New grips would look goon on the nickle.

Forgive the misspelling on above post----very tedious, very long day in Court.

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